Kelly Clarkson’s roots uncovered

The first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, made a trip to Marietta and Coal Run earlier this year. She was on a mission to trace her roots, at least on her mother’s side. She was in company with television producers who were filming a new show called “Who Do You Think You Are?” This show will air on the TLC channel July 23rd at 9 o’clock. It has been known in the area since her visit that her roots go back to Hon. Isaiah R. Rose of Coal Run. The television crew was spotted filming his burial marker at Round Bottom Cemetery, using huge flood lights because they arrived after sunset. How Kelly’s ancestry traces back to this area has been a mystery for some time now. Little has been told about the subject, probably because people are supposed to watch the show. An investigation was made for this article and in about four hours the mystery was solved.

Kelly’s Rose ancestors deserve notice. Her grandfather served in World War II and great grandfather served in World War I. Further back, another ancestor, Hon. Isaiah R. Rose, was taken prisoner during the Civil War and held at Andersonville, Georgia, and later was elected an Ohio senator in 1906. As far as being famous, Kelly has outdone them all. Still, just by doing the show, she reminds us she has not forgotten her ancestors who lived so many years along the Muskingum River.

Kelly Brianne Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 24, 1982. Her mother, Jeanne Ann Rose, grew up in Parkersburg and graduated from Belpre High School in 1969. She married Stephen Michael Clarkson for her first husband, but after their divorce she married a Taylor. Jeanne Rose is the daughter of Nial Ewing and Mary George Rose. He was in the U.S. Navy during World War II. They were married in 1950 in Wood County, West Virginia. Nial died on April 2, 1998, and is buried in Gravel Bank Cemetery. Nial is a son of Harold Wilber Rose (1899-1955). He married Ruth Mae Ewing (1903-1976) and served in World War I. They resided in Marietta in 1930 and 1940. They are buried in Waterford Cemetery. Harold is a son of Leslie C. Rose (1868-1934). He married Mary Martha Immel (1872-1947). They are buried in Round Bottom Cemetery. Leslie is a son of Hon. Isaiah R. Rose (1843-1916). He married Melissa Ellen Crawford (1849-1919). They are buried in Round Bottom Cemetery near Coal Run.

The TV show’s focus on Isaiah R. Rose’s family in Coal Run is only part of the story. The progenitors of the family in Washington County are Isaiah’s parents, James H. (1810-1880) and Mary Schaffer Rose. They had five sons and one daughter who were raised near Coal Run. Lemuel (1846-1933), one of the sons, married Alfarata Stewart (1858-1952). One of their children, Ivan McKinley Rose (1892-1985), was a long-time mail carrier at Coal Run. One of his sons, Clifton Rose, married Betty Kerr, who wrote a short history of Isaiah R. Rose’s life. It was an important source for the article Sam Shawver wrote in yesterday’s paper. Clifton’s brother, Jack Rose, still resides in Devola. Another one of the five sons, James H. Rose, Jr. (1849-1916), married Josephine Hall. He operated Rose Cheap Cash Store in Coal Run for over thirty years. Jim Rose, as he was called, was probably more widely known than his brother, Isaiah. The Coal Run Roses were numerous, each making important contributions to their county, state and nation.

With limited time, it is expected that the show featuring Kelly Clarkson’s roots will be mostly about her great-great-great grandfather, Hon. Isaiah R. Rose. He was the talk of the area during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s; thanks to a very famous descendant, he is once again playing the part.

The picture of the Rose family was taken at the farm house near Coal Run about 1895. Shown in the picture are: back l-r- Melissa Ellen Rose, Foster Rose, Leslie Rose, Prentice Rose, and Arthur Leslie Burrows. Sitting l-r-Melissa Crawford Rose, Isaiah R. Rose and Alice Rose Burrows. Small children in front l-r-Hazel Louise Rose and Denver Rose. This picture is courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society’s book, Washington County, Ohio to 1980, p. 292.

Phillip L. Crane, a Waterford resident and Marietta history teacher for 32 years, will share stories of historical events that occurred in the Lower Muskingum Valley. His column will appear every other week.


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